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2002 Monaco Grand Prix 
What the teams and drivers said - Thursday  

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Reports & Results

What the teams and drivers said - Thursday

Renault ( Jarno Trulli - 1st, Jenson Button - 10th )

Mike Gascoyne: "A good session for the whole team. The drivers worked on the balance of the car today, and are both pleased with the handling. Apart from Jenson�s small off at the end of the day, we had no real problems."

Dennis Chevrier: "Today�s performance is a good starting point for Saturday. After a typical Thursday at Monaco, with a number of on-track incidents, we approach the next sessions with a certain amount of optimism, even if the final positions can be partly attributed to circumstances during the day. Given the number of unknown factors for the remainder of the weekend, including the weather, it was a satisfying day�s work."

Jarno Trulli: "It was a good performance today, and I really want to thank the team for all their work. The conditions here are extremely difficult, but we didn�t have any problems at all. I�m pleased with the handing of the car � there�s still more speed to find, but on this circuit, you need to be happy with the car before you can really push, and I was able to do so straight away. Now I want to confirm this performance, not just in qualifying, but most importantly during the race on Sunday."

Jenson Button: "Overall, today was pretty good. The car isn�t perfect as I�m suffering from a little bit of understeer, and there�s definitely more time to come, especially considering that I didn�t get a clear run on new tyres. Jarno is very quick, which means things are looking good for us."

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Toyota ( Allan McNish - 2nd, Mika Salo - 5th )

Keizo Takahashi: "It was a very good first day for our first time at Monaco. It is a totally different Grand Prix circuit being a street track and Allan did a very good job for his debut here. The preparation work we did at Paul Ricard last week seems to be paying off and we now have a good feeling ahead of qualifying."

Allan McNish: "The car actually suits the circuit a lot better than I had expected it would. I have only ever driven Monaco in a Lexus before now and I think we did a good job today. I am getting more and more used to Formula 1 and setting up the car comes more naturally."

Mika Salo: "It was a relatively good session. We learned a lot from the three-day test at Paul Ricard last week, but there is a bit to improve in the balance of my car. Still I am suffering from a lot of understeer, which I hope we can cure before Saturday's qualifying."

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McLaren ( David Coulthard - 3rd, Kimi Raikkonen - 19th )

Ron Dennis: "Encouraging performance from our tyre Partner Michelin. Hopefully it will continue throughout the rest of the weekend. Kimi�s accident was unfortunate, but the rest of the day�s running was uneventful."

Norbert Haug: "We learnt a lot today and found a good basis for the race. Unfortunately Kimi hit the tyre barrier after six laps but he will back in action on Saturday."

David Coulthard: "We focused our work on improving the balance throughout both sessions and made some progress, but we still have a little understeer which we have to get rid off. The grip level was surprisingly high considering it was the first day of running. It�s difficult to see where you are compared to everybody else as all the teams are running with different fuel levels. On my last set of new tyres I did a messy lap but was still able to pick up 1.5 seconds, so I�m confident that considering the amount of fuel we were running I could have extracted a faster time today."

Kimi Raikkonen: "I was on a fast lap when I lost control of the car at La Rascasse. The impact damaged the chassis and I was unable to do any more running today. We will be using my T-car for the rest of the weekend. Fortunately the team brought five cars but my aim is only to use two!!."

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Jordan ( Giancarlo Fisichella - 4th, Takuma Sato - 17th )

Gary Anderson: "It was reasonable today, the car seems quite good. Giancarlo did a very good job and we�ve had no damage - that doesn�t always happen in Monaco - so we are pretty pleased. Takuma learnt the track and did a very competent job. Unfortunately he didn�t get a run at the end because a link in the suspension inside the front of the monocoque had a problem. We tried to change it but just couldn�t get it done in time. It�s good it happened today rather than Sunday, and there�s plenty of time to fix it."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "It was not a bad day, even though we lost the first session. We did quite a good job and it looks like the car is getting better. We have a lot of graining with the tyres in the last part of the lap, but I think it will be less of a problem on Saturday. We will also improve the set-up, so I am confident that we can be in the top ten."

Takuma Sato: "It was a shame that we had a suspension problem at the end, thanks to this circuit�s kerbs and unfortunately I lost the last 15 minutes of running. Generally, it was a good day as I learned the circuit and found good balance with the EJ12. The track conditions were quite difficult but on Saturday and Sunday it will probably be different so I think we are okay."

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Williams ( Ralf Schumacher - 6th, Juan Pablo Montoya - 9th )

Sam Michael: "It was a normal first practice day, doing race set up and then looking towards a set up for Saturday. Looking at where we have finished we still have quite a bit of work between now and then. We collected useful data on the tyres and now we will have a look and see what we can do. It�s also good that both the drivers have got through today�s sessions without any crashes."

Gerhard Berger: "On Thursday in Monte Carlo it is very important for a driver to find a good rhythm and not to crash in the barriers as this hampers the whole working programme. Track conditions change so much here from Thursday to Saturday even if the weather doesn�t change. You cannot really start working on the fine tuning for qualifying earlier than Saturday morning. We have completed our programme for the race and all in all we had a troublefree day."

Ralf Schumacher: "Today�s first session was not too bad. We tried a few balance variations and we obviously compared the two different tyre compounds, even though we are not sure yet about which we are going to use. There are still some small problems with the set-up of the car to be sorted out. If we manage to do that, tomorrow we should be in a position to fight for the first two rows on the grid."

Juan Pablo Montoya: "I am pretty happy, today went quite well and we did a lot of work with the set-up. I am still struggling a bit with the balance of the car but it is getting better and better. I feel a lot more comfortable than last year and the car is a lot more competitive. I think there is still more to come and we will make further improvements by Saturday. We usually do."

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Ferrari ( Rubens Barrichello - 7th, Michael Schumacher - 11th ) 

Jean Todt: "This was a slightly different first day, because of the peculiar characteristics of this street circuit. Here, you need a car specifically prepared to meet the demands of this track, which involves doing a bit more work on finding the best set-up. Apart from that, we worked on evaluating the two types of tyre at our disposal, which as usual, will be crucial. We have seen that the competition look very strong, even if, in free practice, a lot depends on how much fuel the cars are carrying. It will be interesting to see how things go on Saturday. Given the results of the season so far, we are confident that Ferrari will be competitive."

Ross Brawn: "As usual in Monaco, it is harder than usual to run a programme, as the sessions tend to be fragmented with cars going off the track. Looking at what we did achieve, I think we will be reasonably competitive on Saturday. Qualifying is very important here which is why many people were checking their qualifying performance on low fuel. We now have to analyse the data from the two types of tyre. Due to the weather conditions we worked on race set-up a bit more this afternoon, after checking out the general balance in the morning."

Rubens Barrichello: "As usual in Monaco, the first day is a case of getting to grips with the circuit and to work steadily on finding a good set-up. It seems that some drivers were trying qualifying set-up, but we stuck to working towards the race. I am reasonably happy with the work we have done so far, but there is still more to do to find the right balance on the car."

Michael Schumacher: "The session went reasonably well and we had no particular problems. We have not yet found the ideal set-up for the car, but I am not too worried about this. We still have work to do to improve the handling. Generally it looks as though everyone�s times are much closer here than in recent races. But we will not know the real situation until Saturday afternoon. As usual in Monaco, it takes a few more laps than at other tracks to find your rhythm."

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Minardi ( Mark Webber - 8th, Alex Yoong - 22nd )

Paul Stoddart: "It's extremely pleasing to have had our best practice session to date, particularly since it is at Monaco, which is one of the most demanding circuits on which we race. Having won the Formula 3000 race here last year, Mark clearly demonstrated his love of the Monaco circuit today and was justly rewarded by recording the eighth fastest time of the day, after having been sixth quickest for a considerable time. I'm sure Alex would also have had a good result this afternoon, as he was making good progress this morning. Unfortunately, he had a brush with the notorious Monaco barriers this afternoon and was sidelined for the remainder of the session. Our thanks go to Michelin for delivering a brilliant tyre for this race, and we now look forward to a very positive outcome to the weekend. For KL Minardi Asiatech, today's result is made even sweeter by the outcome of the High Court case in London yesterday involving Phoenix Finance. The judgment totally vindicates what has been our view on the matter from the outset."

Mark Webber: "We had a really good day today. We had two strong sessions with no problems. We had quite a bit of fuel in for the first session just to get a feeling for a heavier car. Then we decided to run with a little bit less fuel in the second session to get a feeling for qualifying trim. We still have some fuel to take out, which is nice, but also Michelin have done a really good job by the looks of it, as well. I like driving on this track and the engineering guys and the mechanics did a good job, so we're really satisfied with today. If we can do something like this in terms of a trouble-free run on Saturday, I would say we could have maybe our best performance in qualifying here. Obviously, we'll have to see what happens. It's likely to be a different story Saturday, but I hope we can still do well."

Alex Yoong: "I rreally like Monaco and we had a good start with a productive session this morning. Unfortunately, early in the second session, I was trying a little bit different line and the car just got away under braking. It was unfortunate, because I really want to make maximum use of the track time available here. I'll just have to redouble my efforts on Saturday and make up for the lost time."

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BAR ( Olivier Panis - 12th, Jacques Villeneuve - 14th )

David Richards: "We�ve made another good start to the weekend today and it is encouraging that both cars stayed reliable throughout. We will now be looking to make the same steady progress in Saturday�s sessions in pursuit of a solid, competitive performance and hopefully our first points."

Geoffrey Willis: "As was the case in Austria, we have made good progress throughout both practice sessions today which will stand us in good stead when we return to the track on Saturday morning. Both drivers put in plenty of laps so we have some good data to pore over tomorrow and a little more time than usual to understand the tyres and consider our options for the race."

Olivier Panis: "We�ve done a good first day�s work today. We tried many things to steadily improve the set-up and prepare us for different conditions. I did 61 laps and the car was very reliable so that�s a good first step for the weekend. We did some long runs to understand the car here and also the tyres were improving as we put more laps on them. We don�t have the best set-up yet and we need to make the engine a little more responsive but generally we seem to be making good progress so far. We still have a lot of work ahead to make sure we are in the best shape for qualifying because this is absolutely critical here."

Jacques Villeneuve: "Today hasn�t been too bad for a first day in Monaco. It was a typical first practice in terms of working with the tyres and looking for a good race set-up. We did a lot of laps but we didn�t manage to get the car running well enough yet. The car feels good generally but the track was very dirty this morning and there is generally a lack of grip here at the start of the weekend until it has been rubbered in. We still have some work to do in terms of tyre choice but we�ll have to see what the weather has in store for us because it�s so important here."

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Arrows ( Heinz Harald Frentzen - 13th, Enrique Bernoldi - 21st  )

Mike Coughlan: �A fairly normal Friday for us. Enrique was unlucky not to be able to play with the tyres this afternoon. I�m pleased that we completed a lot of laps and got both cars home relatively unscathed.�

Heinz Harald Frentzen: �I had a good, constructive day today. We were focusing on balancing the car for the race and doing the usual tyre evaluation and we think we know which way to go there. We learnt more about the car at Paul Ricard last week and that will help us here. All in all a very normal Friday for me.�

Enrique Bernoldi: �I was running with a heavy fuel load this morning so was not able to set a quick time. During my first run on new tyres we had the engine problem so that was disappointing for me as we had been making good progress. We lost half of the second session so we have a bit of catching up to do tomorrow.�

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Sauber ( Nick Heidfeld - 15th, Felipe Massa - 16th )

Peter Sauber: "On his first visit to Monte Carlo Felipe found, as rookies often do, that it can exact a high price for a small mistake. But he will improve on Saturday. We did some good preparation work for the race with Nick, but we could not find the right balance to make the most of the tyres and achieve an optimal lap time."

Nick Heidfeld: "I'm not completely satisfied with the balance and grip of the car, which felt the way that the C20 did here last year. It was jumping about over the bumps and wasn't easy to drive. But we did a lot of laps, on our normal level of fuel for a first practice day, and have a direction to pursue for practice and qualifying on Saturday."

Felipe Massa: "It's been quite a baptism for me here in Monaco! Early this afternoon I had a spin going into the chicane and was very lucky not to hit anything. After that the car began to understeer a bit, but the balance was coming back and I was on what would have been my fastest lap when I made a little mistake in Tabac and the car started to slide. I hit the wall on the outside with the rear wheel, and then the front hit too and that was it for the day."

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Jaguar ( Pedro de la Rosa - 18th, Eddie Irvine - 20th )

Niki Lauda: "With the weather the way it is, the track is not at its� best. The drivers are finding it hard work keeping the car on the circuit and as we saw with both Pedro in the morning session and Eddie this afternoon, it�s not always possible. Today, however, allowed us to spend time working on the overall set-up and we are generally pleased with what we have achieved. Qualifying will be exciting for both the drivers and fans and the team will be working towards a trouble-free day."

Pedro de la Rosa: "A slippery track in the morning session put an end to my free practice session on lap six. I made a mistake coming out of the chicane after the swimming pool and in Monaco you don�t get away with mistakes. The mechanics did a good job of fixing the car so that I could come back out for the afternoon session. During the session we ran our normal programme to work on set-up and tyres."

Eddie Irvine: "Not the free practice that I had envisaged. The track was not as grippy as I would have liked and unfortunately oil on the track in the second session sent me into the armco barriers at Massanet. Monaco is unforgiving and I was happy to come away unscathed. This morning�s session was productive though and we managed to spend time on the overall set-up."

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Session 2002 2001
First Thursday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Thursday Practice Results Report Notes Results
First Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Qualifying Results Report Notes Results
Warm-up Results Report Notes Results
Race Results Report Notes Results

What the teams and drivers said
Thursday - Saturday - Sunday

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